Mark Sanchez could not have asked for a better situation for himself. He was going to be the starting quarterback for the defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos, a team that won the championship with a marginal Peyton Manning the season prior.
Aside from the quarterback position, the Broncos have a Super Bowl roster, with elite offensive weapons and arguably the game’s best pass rush led by reigning Super Bowl MVP Von Miller.
All Mark Sanchez had to prove after being acquired by the Broncos earlier in the offseason was that he could simply take care of the football during the preseason. If he could accomplish that one minuscule task, he would be the Broncos’ starting quarterback.
To top it off, Sanchez’s competition to be the Broncos’ starter would be rookie first-round pick Paxton Lynch, who’s clearly not ready to take over the reigns, and Trevor Siemian, a seventh-round draft pick out of Northwestern by Denver in the 2015 draft. Both Lynch and Siemian would enter the 2016 season having thrown a combined zero NFL passes, while Sanchez has seven years of experience under his belt.
Even more remarkable, Northwestern hasn’t had a quarterback start an NFL game since Randy Dean, who started a game for the Giants in 1979. Saying the odds were stacked in Sanchez’s favor would have been an understatement.
So how does Sanchez respond in the preseason? He completes 20 of 30 passes (not bad) for 219 yards and one touchdown, but turns the ball over not once, not twice but three times (two fumbles and one interception) in two preseason appearances.
His three turnovers in the first two preseason games were enough for Broncos coach Gary Kubiak to decide to not even play Sanchez at all in Denver’s final two preseason games. The writing was on the wall and Sanchez was soon released by the Broncos.
Only Mark Sanchez could have such a perfect opportunity to earn his reputation back by just not screwing it up for the Broncos, but he couldn’t even make it through two preseason games before Kubiak decided to pull the plug.
This wasn’t the first time Sanchez has blown a golden opportunity. He took over a 6-2 Eagles team in 2014 after Nick Foles got hurt only to finish the season with a 4-4 mark, including losing three out of Philly’s last four games of the season to miss the playoffs.
After Sam Bradford got hurt against the Dolphins last season, Sanchez came in and blew the game throwing a red zone interception from Miami’s 9-yard line while throwing into triple coverage with the end result being a one-point loss for the Eagles.
Sanchez started the next two games for Philly, and lost both by a combined 59 points. Only Mark Sanchez could make a fan base pray for the return of Sam Bradford from injury like Mark Sanchez can.
While the Cowboys quickly snatched Sanchez after his release, that shouldn’t be viewed as a victory for Sanchez who was only picked up in utter desperation by the Cowboys needing someone with experience under their belt as insurance for Dak Prescott.